Spring has finally arrived and before you know it, it will be summer and we’ll be enjoying summer vacations. It may seem like a far ways a way, but it’s only three months. I enjoy squeezing in a few weekday or weekend getaways during the summer to make the most of our short summer season. These summer resorts near Toronto are within two hour’s drive from the city so you won’t spend your precious vacation time traveling to and from your destination.
The Briars is a historic Ontario inn that was owned by the Sibbald family until 2017. The inn and country club have been in operation since 1942. The property faces expansive Lake Simcoe and indeed some of the rustic cottages are steps from the lake. Kids will enjoy swimming in the heated outdoor pool, while beach lovers can retreat to the resort’s intimate private beach or enjoy water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing. Amenities at the Briars include an indoor pool, sauna, fitness room, games room, ping pong, billiards and darts. For meal options, you can order barbecue favourites on the patio while listening to the wind dance with 100-year-old pines or opt for elegant fine dining in the main lodge dining room. There are also several restaurants in Jackson’s Point that I recommend including Jackson’s Place, Lake Simcoe Arms Pub and Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant. Don’t forget to pack your golf bag in case you want to hit the greens…The Briars offers a mature, classic 18 hole golf course. One of the best reasons for staying at The Briars is its close distance from Toronto: only one hour north by car.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is the sophisticated cousin of Niagara Falls and you won’t find a resort offering more elegance than Queen’s Landing. This Georgian-style inn features 140 rooms decorated in calming neutral, contemporary and beds with sumptuous 2-inch mattress pads and 300-thread count sheets. Enjoy lunch or dinner on the waterfront patio overlooking Niagara River. Have a dip in the indoor pool, soak in the infiniti hot tub, then slip out to the outdoor oasis with your current read and relax by the waterfall. Take a five minute stroll from your hotel to see one of the main productions at the stunning Shaw Festival Theatre or stop at one of the nearby sidewalk cafes framed with cascading flowers for some prime people watching. Cyclists will want to bike along the 56 kilometre Niagara River Recreation Trail that begins at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, winds through Niagara Falls and ends in historic Fort Erie. Queen’s Landing, 155 Byron Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1-888-669-5566.
Located in Gravenhurst, Taboo Muskoka Resort & Golf is under two hours north of Toronto and will give you the full Muskoka experience. This resort is located on prestigious Lake Muskoka with many resort rooms having a balcony overlooking the lake. Enjoy lounging by the circular outdoor swimming pool or go for the cottage vibe by swimming down at Taboo’s private beach. Watch slalom water skiers show off their skills while enjoying a cocktail or meal at the boathouse restaurant. When it’s time to burn off some calories, hike along wooded nature trails or follow the shoreline in one of the complimentary kayaks or canoes. If you want to hit the links, Taboo boasts a par 71 championship course with 15-minute tee time intervals for a private golf experience. Boating enthusiasts will want to visit the Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst and take a cruise of expansive Lake Muskoka on one of the classic Muskoka steamships. Taboo Muskoka Resort & Golf is located at 1209 Muskoka Beach Road, Gravenhurst, 1-800-461-0236.
I hope you get a chance to visit one of these summer resorts near Toronto.